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Asda fined £300,000 after dead mice found in food depot

Store was taken to court after inspectors found dead mice, droppings and rotting food in Enfield.

Asda was fined after admitting three food safety and hygiene breaches.
Asda was fined after admitting three food safety and hygiene breaches. PA

Supermarket chain Asda has been fined £300,000 for food safety breaches after inspectors found dead mice, rodent droppings and rotting produce at a home delivery depot.

Council safety officers discovered multiple dead mice and flies in the bread section of the depot in Enfield, which delivers food to customers in London and Essex.

There were mouse droppings on shelves and in a packet of cereal, while a pack of sugar in the home baking aisle had been gnawed by rodents.

Dead mice and flies found in the Enfield food delivery depot.
Dead mice and flies found in the Enfield food delivery depot. Enfield Council/PA
Inspectors found mouse droppings in food and nibbled packaging.
Inspectors found mouse droppings in food and nibbled packaging. Enfield Council/PA

Inspectors also found the shells of fly pupae under shelves, spilled foodstuffs and rotting coriander in home delivery trays when they visited the depot on May 27 last year.

The supermarket was fined on Friday after previously admitting three food safety and hygiene breaches at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.

A member of Enfield Council, which brought the prosecution, said it was "simply unacceptable" for customers to be put at risk by companies who were breaching food safety laws.

It beggars belief that a national retailer would allow food to be stored in an environment where rodents are running riot.
Daniel Anderson, Enfield Council
Asda said it had improved food safety and apologised to customers.
Asda said it had improved food safety and apologised to customers. Enfield Council/PA

Mr Anderson, the cabinet member for the environment, added that he hoped the prosecution would send a "strong message" to other firms.

Asda said it had carried out a "full and thorough review" to improve its food safety processes, including its pest control.

A spokesman for the supermarket said: "The conditions found at our Enfield home shopping centre in May 2016 were completely unacceptable and we are deeply sorry that on this occasion the strict processes we have in place failed at a local level.

"We would like to reassure all our customers that immediate steps were taken as soon as the issue was flagged last year to restore the high standards that our customers expect from us."

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